There are a ton of redshirts on the Oklahoma Sooners roster — I count 54 — and most college rosters across America. That’s well over half of OU’s players. No one dreams of riding the pine for a year when they get to college, but redshirt seasons are a distinct possibility for all but the very best recruits.
Players redshirt, of course, for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they get hurt; sometimes their position group is too crowded; some are walk-ons who will never see the field unless they stand out in practice every day for years.
Let’s take a look at this OU 2017 class and predict who might have to wait awhile for their turn. Obviously, in this case we can really only speak to the second reason — guys whose positions are so stuffed with upperclassmen that breaking through would be extremely hard.
We’ll list every true freshman class member by position and give a percentage chance of them redshirting, starting with the quarterback.
QB Chris Robison: 85%
Too many cooks in the kitchen here, and both Robison and Austin Kendall should take a good long look at redshirting this season. Theoretically they could both do it — OU basically played all last season with just two QBs, and it worked out fine. They’re in for a tough battle next offseason, and it would really suck to lose the starting job to Kyler Murray and be out of eligibility by the time he’s done. If Robison wants a great shot at two starting years, he should redshirt.
C Creed Humphrey: 75%
The coaches love Creed, which is exactly why he’ll redshirt. They’ll want him around as long as possible.
G Tyrese Robinson: 70%
G Marquise Hayes: 70%
Oklahoma’s O-line is probably the best unit on the team — after QB, that is — but it’s not incredibly deep. That said, there are enough experienced interior linemen that it would be downright shocking to see Robinson or Hayes play important minutes this year.
OT Adrian Ealy: 45%
OU’s tackles are obviously outstanding, but the position isn’t quite so deep as to bury Ealy. Obviously OU’s first move with an injured or ineffective tackle would be to kick out a guy like Dru Samia, though, so that makes things tougher for him.
FB/TE Jeremiah Hall: 80%
Not gonna lie, with Dimitri Flowers around and Grant Calcaterra looking like the next Mark Andrews, I kind of forgot all about this guy. Prove me wrong, Jerry.
TE/WR Grant Calcaterra: 20%
I think the coaches are going to get this guy involved right away. Baker Mayfield needs big-body red zone targets, which is why Andrews catches so many TDs. The Sooners will have fun with another similar type sharing the field with him.
RB Trey Sermon: 15%
Running back is wide open, so why not give it a shot?
RB Kennedy Brooks: 30%
Brooks may feel like the odd man out since he’s the only running back not on campus yet.
WR Charleston Rambo: 20%
WR CeeDee Lamb: 20%
It’s probably too simplistic to just lump these guys together but honestly, they should go for it. Oklahoma needs a hero on the outside and there are plenty of catches to go around.
DT Zacchaeus McKinney: 25%
DT Tyreece Lott: 45%
OU’s D-line depth chart is a little frightening and will open doors for guys who probably shouldn’t be playing yet.
DE Troy James: 40%
James has a great chance to back up D.J. Ward right out of the gate.
DE K’Jakyre Daley: 65%
DE Isaiah Thomas: 65%
Valuable assets, just not this season.
LB Levi Draper: 40%
LB Kenneth Murray: 30%
LB Addison Gumbs: 25%
For Murray, Oklahoma has positions for the taking between Obo Okoronkwo and Caleb Kelly, while Gumbs has emerged as Kelly’s likely backup. Draper’s number was larger before the transfer of Kapri Doucet, but now there could be some good playing time right away for the Oklahoma product. I think an extra year of seasoning would be good for Murray and Draper, but in limited minutes it will be fun to see what they can do.
CB Tre Norwood: 70%
Norwood is unfortunately just overshadowed by his own class. Without a great fall camp, the freshman opportunities will go to other players this year.
DB Ryan Jones: 40%
CB Tre Brown: 35%
CB/S Justin Broiles: 20%
I literally cannot wait for Oklahoma to have a pass defense again. With these kids pushing Parnell Motley and Jordan Parker, I expect a sizable improvement this year and an excellent few seasons moving forward.
S Robert Barnes: 15%
I’d be extremely surprised if this stud recruit doesn’t get at least second-team snaps this year.
So what do you think, Sooners fans? Let me know who I got right and wrong in the comment section below.